I’d like to highlight two things. I’ll try to be concise.

First thing: the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26, basically ended with countries worldwide giving lip service and little else towards making changes to reduce their additions to greenhouse gases to the atmosphere—their “carbon footprint”, per se.

In the meantime, we had a practically worldwide experiment with regard to work-from-home and rotational working arrangements.

Benefits of such arrangements are well known, and include:

• Less time spent in traffic, so more time to be productive;

• Easier to supervise children in a time of closed nurseries and virtual schooling;

• Less mass movement, so slower spread of viral pathogen;

• Improved mental health, with people being able to work at their own pace;

• Savings on some bills for employers, such as telephone bills;

• Fewer vehicles on the roads, so less pollution from vehicles.

I’m certain there are records of productivity levels before and during lockdown measures. Even I (not a statistician) can collate that information, run some statistical analyses, and determine which departments of which Government agencies performed statistically significantly better on rotation.

Obviously, such units should remain on rotation. It’s beneficial to all, and even shows this blip on the world map is doing its part in reducing our carbon footprint.

Second thing: Singapore (80-per cent vaccination rate) is apparently musing over blocking all unvaccinated (by choice) individuals from accessing free healthcare. Some Trinis are vociferously supporting this stance, wishing it be enforced locally.

Just pointing out some things here:

• “Free” healthcare is not free; we pay health surcharge and other taxes to fund it. To have someone pay for a service they can’t access when needed is nothing short of madness;

• This flies in the face of the Hippocratic oath. Triage only applies when absolutely necessary, and must be logically justifiable. None of us has the right to place a vaccinated life as more valuable than an unvaccinated one;

• This promotes segregation and open discrimination against the unvaccinated. “Here every creed and race find an equal place” and “discipline, tolerance, production” would be nothing more than lip service;

• It gives the impression the vaccines don’t work, so the vaccinated must avoid the unvaccinated to survive. “Herd immunity”, by the way, is supposed to protect those who are not vaccinated;

• “The right to health was again recognised as a human right in the 1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.” Succinctly put, access to healthcare is a human right. We don’t get to choose to deny it to anyone.

I hope our leaders never go down this path.

Shabba De Leon



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